Guanajuato City is one of those places that all travelers fall in love with. A more glorious version of San Miguel with fewer tourists, Guanajuato is a UNESCO city with tree-lined plazas, typical colonial architecture and the best hot chocolate in the country. But beneath its initial facade is a place rich in culture and a long-winding history.
The archaeological sites in and around Guanajuato are known to be settlements of what experts call “the Cultures of El Bajío region”.
Both the architecture and the ceramic remains found on these sites are proof of a regional peculiarity different from other cultures in Mesoamerica. And of all the Guanajuato activities on offer, exploring the local archaeology is arguably the best way to spend your time.
During your visit to the Peralta and Plazuelas archaeological sites, you will get to thoroughly enjoy learning about the Prehispanic history of Mexico.
Over 1,400 years ago, in addition to Plazuelas and Peralta, there were four other important settlements in the region, namely: San Bartolome, San Miguel Viejo, Tepozan, and Loza Los Padres. Recurring themes within their archaeology confirm the ancient relations between these civilizations.
Interestingly enough, the first known inhabitants of the area were the Otomi, who were then displaced by the Chichimeca. There was Purépecha presence as well due mostly to ancient trading routes.
Mining had been done in this area long before the Spanish arrived. Late in the pre-Hispanic period the Aztecs had a presence here, specifically to look for metals to make ornamental objects for their political and religious elite. Some stories from this time state that the area was so rich in minerals that nuggets of gold could be picked up from the ground.
Whether you want to experience the soul of the Mexican heartland by visiting the cathedral, explore the callejones, or experience a famous Guanajuato restaurant, the options are endless. However, the ancient soaring pyramids, monumental cities, and mythical mastery of astronomy and mathematics have spurred generations of explorers on a quest for better understanding of its history, and Guanajuato City is the perfect launching point for you to do some discovery of your own.